Ensuring driver safety is the biggest priority of fleet managers, according to a survey conducted at the 2014 NAFA Institute and Expo by GE Capital Fleet Services.
With more than a third (35 percent) of fleet managers identifying it as their main concern, driver safety outpaced cost-savings goals and workforce productivity (27 percent and 22 percent, respectively) as the top concern for the second year in a row.
In addition, 62 percent of survey respondents said that the main focus of their company’s executive (C-suite) leadership is achieving cost savings. With this goal in mind, fleet managers are using a number of tactics to manage costs. Forty-three percent of respondents cited vehicle purchasing decisions as the greatest opportunity for savings, followed by managing maintenance expenses (32 percent) and activating telematics and analytics solutions (22 percent).
“As fleet managers continue to focus first and foremost on driver safety, they must also concentrate on finding ways to take more cost out of fleet operations,” says Mark Hayes, chief marketing officer for GE Capital Fleet Services. “Increasingly, fleets are utilizing technology tools that address the dual challenges of cost and safety. These include telematics solutions that alert drivers to potential accidents, intelligent collision alert systems and data analytics that helps predict and manage maintenance costs.”
Additional findings from the survey included:
- Enhancing Productivity: The two biggest areas of focus for enhancing fleet productivity were defining a comprehensive vehicle replacement/cycling plan (30 percent) and specifying the appropriate vehicle for the job (27 percent).
- Analytics Is Improving Efficiency and Saving Costs: When asked how analytics have most helped their fleet, 46 percent of fleet managers cited improved operational efficiency, with an additional 22 percent citing cost savings through analytics.
- Alternative Fuels in Use at 32 Percent of Fleets: Thirty-two percent of fleet managers surveyed stated that alternative fuel vehicles were already in their fleet, with an additional 33 percent planning to incorporate them within the next two years.